Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education at Brooklyn College

There are wonderful resources in the community for retirees. Retirees of any age, including newly retired and semi-retired adults are invited to join the Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education (IRPE) at Brooklyn College. If you enjoy exploring new ideas and acquiring new skills in the company of friendly people, IRPE is for you. Take as many courses as you want in art, literature, music, philosophy, history and more - with no exams or homework. Take workshops in painting, drama, singing, foreign languages, computers, memoir writing or poetry. Practice tai chi or yoga. Attend special lectures, film showings and musical performances. Play bridge. Use the college library and computer labs. Meet new people. No prior college experience is necessary. All for only $75 a year in membership dues - an unbelievable value in these difficult times.

Membership runs from July 1st through June 30th. Registration is beginning now for our next semester which begins in early September. All courses are held between 9 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday on the Brooklyn College campus. For further information, call 718-951-5647 or click here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Gems

Sharon Ife Charles, Deputy Director of the Mediation Center, led a gender specific workshop on self-worth on Saturday, March 21st. "My Gems - The Value of Self-Worth" focused on building self esteem and awareness. Forty young women ages thirteen to eighteen participated in the session. Ms. Charles stressed the importance of valuing your morals and beliefs, and not putting a monetary price on yourself. Each woman has the right to protect herself and say no to unsafe situations. CAMBA's entire 5th Annual "Let's Talk" Youth Conference garnered a total attendance of 225 people. Thanks for spreading the great message!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Success Story

A few weeks ago, a woman came into our office for help with resources and saw that immigration clinic was happening. She popped her head in the back as saw Yvonne Huaringa from The Legal Aid Society helping clients. She was delighted and told us that Yvonne was the same woman who helped her get her own citizenship two years earlier at the Mediation Center. We are always delighted to hear of success stories in the community. Our next immigration clinic is happening on Wednesday, April 8th. Call 718-773-6886 to make an appointment.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Community Responses to Violence

Last week, Mediation Center Project Director Amy Ellenbogen presented at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Symposium about "Bullying and Violence in the Schools: Diagnosis, Prevention, Intervention." Her presentation focused on responses to violence here in Crown Heights, and how the Mediation Center and other Community Based Organizations have come up with unique solutions to handling violence. Check out her PowerPoint slides here. They show many different Mediation Center programs.

Partner Palooza

Last Thursday, the Mediation Center staff attended Partner Palooza, a resource fair at the Brooklyn Museum organized by the Community Learning Support Organization. The event allowed Community Based Organizations to present their programs to local schools and other institutions. We met people from a wide variety of organizations. These non-profits serve the community in many ways, from bringing the arts into the classroom to giving high schoolers a chance to study abroad. Heart of Brooklyn's BCAP Summer Camp, an opportunity for children to experience the cultural institutions of brooklyn, awards scholarships to 50% of its attendees. Carnegie Hall's Explore and Learn program offers free concerts across New Yorks Five Boroughs. Find out when the next concert closest to you is by clicking here. Interested in volunteering at a local school? Learning Leaders can help facilitate that partnership. Thanks to all who came out and shared their expertise with us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Caught in a Crossfire in Crown Heights

This anti-gun violence documentary was created by Kymbali Craig, Bailey's Cafe Youth and students from Paul Robeson High school with support from the Weed and Seed Coalition of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. The Mediation Center thrives on this type of convening work. Take a look and let us know what you think about the issue!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Leadership Training Institute Participates in Jewish Tour

The Leadership Training Institute participants had the opportunity to go on a Jewish Tour of Crown Heights this past Sunday led by The Chassidic Discovery Welcome Center. Tour-goers saw a Jewish synagogue, a Torah scribe, a mikvah (Jewish ritual bath), and had the chance to eat a kosher lunch. Participants learned about many different aspects of Lubavitch Chassidic life, including spiritual purity rituals, modesty laws, men's and women's roles in Lubavitch life, and Lubavitch world views. This eye-opening tour allowed attendees to ask questions about Chassidic life in an open and honest forum, without judgment. One participant reflected about how wonderful it was that the tour guides were so willing to share their perspective on their daily life and remove the mystery from the the Jewish community in Crown Heights. Thanks so much to all who came out for the tour!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Citizenship Now!

In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Week, The CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project is presenting Citizenship Now! a Five-Borough Citizenship Application Assistance Day. This event will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 11:00am-3:00pm. The event will provide free legal assistance to help lawful permanent residents apply for naturalization. Five simultaneous events will be held at locations in each New York City borough. The event is sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Locations throughout the city include:
NYC College of Technology
285 Jay Street, Klitgord Gym
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Bronx: CUNY on the Concourse
2501 Grand Concourse, 3rd Floor
Bronx, NY 10468
Co-Sponsor: Lehman College of Continuing Education
Queens Library at Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Boulevard
2nd Floor Auditorium
Corona, NY 11368
Co-Sponsor: Queens Library at Langston Hughes
CUNY Xpress
560 W. 181 Street
New York, NY 10033
Staten Island:
Project Hospitality Help Center
514 Bay Street
Staten Island, NY 10304
Co-Sponsors: Project Hospitality Help Center and Staten Island Legal Services

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shabbos Dinners

The Mediation Center has embarked on a new project, thanks to the help of the Wasser Family. We are co-hosting Sabbath Dinners once a month at the Wasser home, welcoming diverse members of the community to experience what a Friday night dinner is like in a Crown Heights Jewish home. This gives residents of Crown Heights the opportunity to learn about each others backgrounds and traditions, promoting tolerance and unity. In February, the dinner boasted an attendance of 27 guests. Participants have described the welcoming attitude of the Wasser family the eagerness to teach and explain the rituals of the dinner. If you are interested in attending a dinner, please call the Mediation Center at 718-773-6886 for the next upcoming date.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diversity Day

Fifty students from two classes from PS/IS 184 visited the Crown Heights Mediation Center last week to learn about how people of different backgrounds and beliefs work together. The trip to the Center was in preparation for the students study of the Holocaust and beginning to learn about Jewish people. The students spoke with Pastor Gil Monrose from Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day), Pastor Ken Bogan from Greater Restoration Baptist Church, Amy Ellenbogen, Project Director of Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, and Adam Wasser, Americorps Member at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. The students peppered the panelist with questions about their beliefs and practices. If your school would like to participate in a similar type of conversation, call the Mediation Center.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Three Events in the Community this Week

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is busy this week out in the community with presentations and fairs. Here's a sampling of what's going on:

Thursday we will be leading a Demonstration Session on "Visual Thinking Strategies" and manning a table at Partner Palooza, a resource fair hosted by the Brooklyn Museum. The purpose of the Palooza is to help schools connect with programs that are both low-cost and aligned with student needs. This is a wonderful opportunity for Community Based Organizations to gather, present, and share their resources and services. We look forward to learning from and finding new partners in the community.

We will also be presenting at the first annual Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Symposium at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. This year's theme is "Bullying and Violence in the Schools: Diagnosis, Prevention, Intervention." We will be talking specifically about community responses to violence in Crown Heights. The symposium is sponsored by The Medisys Behavioral Health Network at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We are Looking forward to a successful torn out of over 200 people!
This Saturday we will attend CAMBA's 5th Annual Youth Conference. The "Let's Talk" conference is focused on pregnancy prevention and abstinence. The day will run from 10:00am-3:00pm and includes workshops, performances, prizes, a continental breakfast, and buffet lunch. The Mediation Center is leading a workshop on "My Gems" - The Value of Self Worth. The conference will take place this Saturday, March 21st at Beacon 271, 1137 Herkimer St. between Saratoga Ave. and Roosevelt Place. To RSVP please call 718-282-5575 or email RubielaM@camba.org or KaidaF@camba.org